Red Bull ‘punished in a different way’ by Spanish track

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen

If it is not track limits then it is the kerbs designed to keep the drivers within those limits, but Helmut Marko has once again been left unimpressed.

Max Verstappen broke his front wing on the kerbs of the Barcelona circuit on Friday, hitting the red and white kerb at Turn 7.

The driver was forced to head back to the pits, costing him a bit of track time in what are already shortened practice sessions.

Red Bull advisor Marko wasn’t happy.

“Here, you are punished in a different way,” he said to Motorsport Magazin.

“If the lap times are not taken away, then it is the front wings that will be damaged.

“We no longer have a spare, but the damaged front wings can be repaired. We will take care of that.”

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It was not a great Friday in general for Red Bull with Verstappen finishing ninth fastest and Sergio Perez P10.

The Red Bull team-mates were six and seven-tenths down on Lewis Hamilton’s pace-setting 1:18.170.

“There is no panic yet,” said Marko. “There were some small things that were not right, we have not been able to finish a flawless run.

“It will be very exciting again, I am sure. We are within a tenth of each other.

“Only in the last sector we do not have a good comparison. At first, we drove a purple sector time there, but then we did not have a good run anymore.”

Last season Mercedes dominated the Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton taking the race win by 24 seconds ahead of Verstappen. Valtteri Bottas was third in a race in which Hamilton lapped everyone except the other two drivers on the podium.

The Brackley squad heads into this year’s Spanish Grand Prix leading both championships with Hamilton eight points up on Verstappen and Mercedes 18 points ahead of Red Bull.

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